SOUTH BOSTON, MA — On Thursday night, December 20th, members of the Boston Bruins and TD Garden staff traveled to the Pine Street Inn to assist in the shelter’s game night for the homeless men in attendance.
Game nights serve as a temporary reprieve to the men in the shelter going through hardships, according to Barbara Trevisan, Pine Street’s Director of Communication and Spokesperson.
On Thursday night, that break got a Black & Gold makeover, which was met at the shelter with sheer excitement.
"[The game nights are] huge," said Trevisan, as the men started to file in, where bingo, chess, playing cards, and other games awaited them by Bruins personnel. "They really look forward to this kind of thing, and especially groups like the Bruins and other groups that come in.
"It makes all the difference for the people here to have volunteer groups come in."
In the midst of the holiday season, Trevisan highlighted how important it is for Pine Street's guests to be able to find enjoyment — if only for a night — to keep their minds occupied.
"The holidays are especially tough if you have lost your connection to home or family, so any of these things that we do, these special events, really go a long way in making people feel like they have some kind of connection to people," she said.
While bingo numbers were being called, stories being shared, and bonds being forged, a snack cart came around to supply the men of the shelter with chips and soda.
"It adds a whole other level," said Michael Oliver, who works in development for the shelter. "People come in and they get the basics. We can give them food, give them some place to sleep at night, and we can give them healthcare.
"But to have not only volunteers come in, but the Bruins organization, which to them is a huge thrill -— so much so that they already knew about it before we opened up the event for them -— just adds another level of thrill for them.
"It’s a great time of the night to keep occupied in something sociable, which is a great thing for them to be doing, and it goes above and beyond what they can expect from an emergency shelter."
Pine Street is always looking for help and Trevisan added they are always in need of supplies, such as food, coffee, clean socks and underwear, and gift cards to local businesses.
As the night was winding down, one man approached bostonbruinsTV and began to chat.
He spoke of his appreciation for the visit, his love of hockey, and the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup run and added he predicted the run in an early round of the playoffs, while watching a game in Pine Street Inn’s lounge.
It was a memory he will probably hold on too for quite some time. And hopefully, after Thursday night, he can add a whole new, bright memory of the Bruins to his collection.